In Women With Fibromyalgia, Perfectionism Found to Impact Functionality

In Women With Fibromyalgia, Perfectionism Found to Impact Functionality
In women with fibromyalgia with ingrained perfectionism, avoiding activities in anticipation of pain negatively impacts functionality. But conversely, persisting in activities to complete tasks has positive effects, a study finds. These results suggest that giving consideration to a person's perfectionism level when recommending interventions may help improve the quality of life of some patients, especially women. The study, “Is Perfectionism Always Dysfunctional? Looking into Its Interaction with Activity Patterns in Women with Fibromyalgia,” was published in the journal Clinical Nursing Research. In chronic pain disorders such as fibromyalgia, health outcomes are believed to be influenced by psychological, behavioral, and environmental factors. The flexibility model of pain, one scientific tool used by clinicians, posits that patients’ ability to function with chronic pain is affected by their mental well-being, individual goals, and how they engage in activities with respect to their pain, or activity patterns.  The three major activity patterns are defined as avoiding activity, persisting in activity, and breaking up activity over time (pacing). A specific activity pattern and its effect on functional limitation may be adaptive or maladaptive depending on the context.  Perfectionism is a personality trait characterized by holding exceedingly high standards, which may be adaptive — i.e. setting high personal behavioral standards — or maladaptive, in which an individual becomes preoccupied with small mistakes. A predisposition for chronic fatigue disorders is associated with perfectionistic personalities and, in fibromyalgia, it can lead to overexertion and difficulty coping with the disease.  A moderate degree of perfectionist behavior
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